News from Across the Pond: Foods fried in Olive or Sunflower Oils Not Linked to Heart Disease

A new study out of Spain and published in the British Medical Journal found that eating food fried in olive or sunflower oils is not linked to heart disease or premature death.

The authors, led by Professor Pilar Guallar-Castillón from Autonomous University of Madrid, surveyed the cooking methods of 40,757 adults aged 29 to 69 over an 11-year period. None of the participants had heart disease when the study began.

Trained interviewers asked participants about their diet and cooking methods. Fried food was defined as food for which frying was the only cooking method used. Questions were also asked about whether food was fried, battered, crumbed or sautéed.

The participants’ diet was divided into ranges of fried food consumption, the first quartile related to the lowest amount of fried food consumed and the fourth indicated the highest amount.

During the follow-up there were 606 events linked to heart disease and 1,134 deaths.

The authors conclude: “In a Mediterranean country where olive and sunflower oils are the most commonly used fats for frying, and where large amounts of fried foods are consumed both at and away from home, no association was observed between fried food consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease or death.”

Now, this absolutely does not mean you should eat fried food at all meals. Remember that this study was conducted in Spain, where nearly all restaurants use olive or sunflower oils to fry foods. That is not the case in the States.

If you’re going to eat fried food, try cooking it yourself, at home, away from fast food joints and restaurants. Use olive or sunflower oil to get the job done. If you make this a habit whenever you’re eating fried foods, your heart just may thank you for it.

This post is published by Sherman Health to provide general health information. It is not intended to provide personal medical advice, which should be obtained directly from your physician.

About Sherman Health

Sherman Health has provided medical care to Northern IL since 1888, and is currently home to a network of over 600 physicians. The Sherman blogs are edited by me, Luke. Questions? Comments? Links? Email address is luke at shermanhealth dot com.
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